Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Shadows


This months challenge on the acrylic forum for Wet Canvas is a scene of sun, light rays, shadows and trees.  It is one of those scenes that makes you go "ahhhh" when you see it, and it appears to be touched by the heavens. But as much as I loved seeing the image, my mind went "oh-oh, how we gonna paint this one!" This is the type of painting that a realist, a truly good realist painter, would make into a masterpiece. And I thought about doing it in a realistic style - well, I thought about it for maybe 5 minutes. But shook my head and said no.

As I once wrote before, a realistic painting style is very stressful for me. I fret and re-do so much of the painting, trying to attain a perfection in the rendering. Every line, every stroke, every value change - oh, I could spend weeks on the painting, and still not be happy with it. You see, I have found that realistic painting, for me, goes against my grain - so to speak. I become obsessed with details and fret so much over the "look" that I cease to enjoy the actual act of creating. And it is the act of creating that draws me to painting in the first place.

That is how I started to do my current style of painting, which I refer to as "shapes." I go past the details that I obsess about and past the realism strokes & blends, and break an image down into shapes & values. And then that is what I paint, what I "see" - and what I feel from the scene I try to convey with color and tone.

There are some paintings, such as the pomegranate I did recently, that does both a touch of realism mixed with the "shapes" and tones. And there are others, such as this one, that is purely shapes and tones. I guess this is just me, developing my own style. And I actually do get to enjoy the creation!

Acrylic on 9x12 canvas

11 comments:

Linda Popple said...

Lovely grays!

Margaret Bednar said...

A bit "Cezanne" in style. Can't go wrong with that! I like your pudding and Spoon below. Just a wonderful mix of color -light blue, orange and black. Nice work, as usual. Happy Turkey Day!

yasha said...

Such lovely play of light and shadows and i really liked how you simplify a complex subject.Bravo!

martinealison said...

Je comprends ce que vous ressentez... je me réjouis pour vous de ce bien-être jouissif... je pense que lorsqu'on laisse aller son ressenti, sans se poser de questions tout se passe bien.
Le résultat est là, n'est-ce pas ?
J'aime beaucoup l'ensemble des tons qui s'harmonisent et jouent avec la lumière. Belle peinture...
Bises

Carol DeMumbrum said...

I really love your style of painting! You were describing me when you were talking about realism. It is very easy to obsess over details.

Virginia Floyd said...

Really beautiful, Nancy. I love the bright greens and yellows against the grays. I've told you before that I love your style of painting. I find it much more interesting than a "realistic" painting would be of the same scene.

I'm afraid I'm one of those who obsess over details. You are right, it takes away that spontaneous joy. I hope to learn enough one of these days that I can let go of the details. Happy Thanksgiving!

Jean Nelson Paintings and Photography said...

Nancy, a stunning light and shadows painting. I also like how you simplified the subject. Very nicely done!

The Desert Girl said...

Your style is so unique and captivating! You sure have captured quite an audience with your "shapes"! This piece is superb. Have you thought about selling your work from your blog? You can get "Buy Now" buttons from Paypal very quickly and easily. I'd bet you'd get plenty of sales as unique as your style is!

padmaja said...

Nancie,I like this brilliant network of the trees and the shadows,,it is challenging to simplify the shapes and develop this kind of style...

Barbara said...

This is an interesting image. The light is very beautiful and seems true.

Nancie Johnson said...

Thank you so much everyone for your kind comments & compliments on this painting. I had no idea it would garner so many comments, I am truly humbled. It was an interesting painting to do, but I still managed to fret over the colors & shades in the various areas.

Paula - I have been toying with the idea of setting up that PayPal app on my blog & see if any would sell. I've been in a bit of an undecided state on that - mostly because these paintings are on canvas sheets, which really should be matted. So, do I matt them or sell them unmatted - that is the question! Perhaps in the new year I will start the process! Thanks for your input, much appreciated! :)

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